How Come Christians Still Sin?
In previous Learning Activities, we have seen that when a person believes in Jesus Christ that He comes and indwells the believing person. Knowing that God is holy and does not sin, the question should arise at some point in your study as to why it is that Christians still sin when they have God living in them?
Perhaps before we start on that question we should address a more basic understanding. Some Christians believe that they never sin any more after becoming a Christian. We need to look at the Scriptures to see if this is so.
Using your Bible, look up the following verses and write them in the space provided. As you proceed answer the questions as they appear in this document.
1. 1 John 1:8
2. 1 John 1:10
3. Romans 3:23
4. What do the three verses above tell us about all mankind?
5. Romans 12:2
6. How does the above verse state that we can “prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God?”
7. Philippians 2:5
8. 1 Corinthians 2:16
9. What do the two verses above tell you about the subject of “mind renewal?”
The reason that our minds need to be renewed is because our mind is influenced with understandings that are contrary to God. Also, the understandings of the mind are what the will acts upon causing us to make decisions that affect how we permit our body to act. As the mind goes, so goes the body. If you give your mind to Christ in you, the body will start to become less of a problem.
In the Philippians 2:5 verse of #7 above, we find the very important word “let.” We must let (allow, permit) God to renew our minds. The mind is somewhat like a computer disk that has many information files in it. The information in our minds consists of the ideas of men (some of which is not truth), and some of the truth of God. What needs to happen is for the “files” that are not of God to either be erased and replaced or overwritten with God’s truth. What part do we play in this process of mind renewal? By listening to and reading what God says and believing it! There are many sources for mind renewal, the most powerful being the Bible.
The renewing of the mind is one of the great works of God in our lives. We can rest assured that He will do what is necessary in His timing and in His way. There are a number of areas we should keep in mind during this life-long process.
a. We need to be open to God working to change how we think and how we view things.
b. The entire world is like a schoolhouse which is being used to teach us and we should try to look at everything that happens, or does not happen, from God’s point of view, and as an opportunity to learn more about the Christ who lives in us.
10. John 17:17
11. Matthew 4:4
From the two scriptures in #10 and #11 above we can see that we need to be open to what God may be saying to us when we read and study His written word, the Bible!
We can clearly see from the above that Christians do commit sin even after becoming believers. The removal of this weakness is not taken care of by any works that we think we can generate to eliminate the sin. The solution is the work of God via the mind renewal process. Just like your salvation is not of works but rather by the Father drawing us and turning us to Christ, so goes the process of sin after believing. We are powerless in overcoming both the unbelief that keeps us from salvation as well as the inability to resolve the sin question, but God has no such limitations and we would do well to place that in His powerful hands to deal with!
In the meantime, there is a strong Bible teaching about this “sin after conversion” I would like to share with you. In the New Covenant under which we live today, when we become Christians the Lord comes into our being (heart, spirit) and we become what the scripture refers to as a “New Creation in Christ.” In that New Creation we are NOT under the Law but rather under grace! Since we are not under the Law the word of God tells us that the sin we commit after becoming a New Creation has all been forgiven, in fact, that sin is not even “counted against us!”
12. Romans 5:13b
13. Romans 4:8
14. Romans 4:15
15. Romans 7:8c
16. Hebrews 10:17
17. Hebrews 10:2b
In the verse above, “…they (speaking of worshipers who have been cleansed for all time by one cleansing – which is what has happened by Christ dying on the Cross for us in the New Covenant) would no longer have any consciousness of sin.” We in the New Covenant are NOT to have any consciousness of sin! “No one born of God commits sin (that’s talking about our true spiritual self which Paul states in Galatians 2:20 is no longer “I” but Christ living in me – it’s talking about our spirit that is indwelled by the Spirit of God! Irrespective of our fleshly bodies! for God’s nature abides in him (that’s what takes place instantly in our human spirit when we believe in what has been revealed to us by God – born again, a New Creature in Christ all in the unseen world), and he cannot sin because he is born of God” (1 John 3:9). That’s it! Many Christians do not believe this but that just happens to be biblical truth whether you believe it or not that’s who and what you are as a new creation believer!
The text above tells me that when I believe and trust in Christ and proceed in physical life by faith, sin is not counted against me. Nothing I have stated is a license or approval for anyone to purposely commit sin in the flesh because we are treated by God in the above manner. Paul sets us stright on that account in Romans 6:15 which I agree with and so should you!
I have attempted to create a graphic that illustrates the above and that appears in Figure 138.
In conclusion, the answer to the original question is found in the fact that all Christians have a partially renewed mind. When a Christian operates or makes decisions out of an unrenewed mind they sin. Our will is also involved in this process, but that is a topic for a later Learning Activity.
Click on Self-Check below to check your answers.